Thursday, October 31, 2013

Norfolk Southern dedicates yard in honor of H. Craig Lewis

Written by  William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
Norfolk Southern has renamed its Dillerville Yard in Lancaster, Pa., in honor of former vice President Corporate Affairs and Pennsylvania State Senator H. Craig Lewis, who died unexpectedly on Jan. 13, 2013, at age 68. After serving as state senator for the 6th District in Bucks County for five terms (1975-1994), Lewis joined NS in 1997, retiring from the railroad in 2009.

NS dedicated the under-expansion yard in Lewis’s name in a private ceremony on Oct. 31 attended by Norfolk Southern CEO Wick Moorman, Pennsylvania Lt. Governor Jim Cawley, State Senator Tommy Tomlinson, Drexel University President John Fry, and numerous government and business officials, family and friends.

“Because of his experience and respect from both sides of the aisle in Harrisburg, Craig was a key part of our integration of Conrail’s assets in Pennsylvania in the late 1990s,” said Moorman. “He later led our passenger and transit policy team and managed many complex projects, including the sale of Conrail’s Boonton Line to New Jersey Transit and the NS phase of the Lancaster Northwest Gateway Project. Craig brought energy, creativity, and humor to every initiative and was able to bring diverse perspectives together in a collaborative manner. Dedicating our yard in Lancaster in honor of Craig is a fitting tribute.”

“As a state senator, Craig Lewis dedicated himself to community service and economic development,” said Cawley. “That is why Norfolk Southern could not have selected a more appropriate project to dedicate to his memory.”

“Craig was a fine man who honorably served his district and constituents,” said Tomlinson. “I am proud to have followed his legacy in the Senate and to have called him my friend.”

“Craig was a dear friend and a trusted colleague,” said Fry. “He quickly grasped the strategic importance of the Northwest Gateway Project for the City of Lancaster, Franklin & Marshall College, and Lancaster General Health. He became our partner in addressing the many technical and logistical hurdles involved with making this project a reality. I am very pleased that Norfolk Southern has chosen to honor Craig for his service to their company and to this community by naming this rail facility the H. Craig Lewis Yard.”

The expansion of Lewis Yard began in early 2009 following several years of studies and design and will be completed next month. The yard expansion is part of the Lancaster Northwest Gateway Project, a $75 million plan to remediate and redevelop approximately 75 acres of urban brownfields to enhance economic development opportunities in the City of Lancaster by connecting the city street grid system, creating urban green spaces, and providing campus development sites for Franklin & Marshall College and Lancaster General Health on land formerly owned by Armstrong World Industries and NS. The final segment of the Gateway Project will begin in the spring of 2014 when the railroad transfers ownership of approximately 28 acres of its yard east of Dillerville Road to Franklin & Marshall and Lancaster General. This work is expected to take 12 months to complete.

H. Craig Lewis was born in Hazleton, Pa., on July 22, 1944. He graduated from Millersville State College with a bachelor’s degree in history. He attended the University of Nebraska graduate school and was a graduate of Temple University School of Law.

Lewis practiced law and served as a member of the Bar of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Council, and the state Advisory Committee for Guidance Service. He was elected to the Pennsylvania Senate from the Sixth District, serving from 1974 to 1994. A Democrat, he was chair of the Judiciary, Local Government, and Ethics Committees. He served on numerous state commissions.

Before joining Norfolk Southern, Lewis was a partner in the Dechert, Price & Rhodes law firm. In 1998, he was named chair of the Philadelphia Foundation, which at that time awarded the Philadelphia Liberty Medal. He also was on the board of Aria Health, which operates three hospitals in the Philadelphia region, and the Philadelphia Zoo.